There are many fine afternoon walks you can take along the East Bay shoreline, but too often, strollers and joggers have to endure the constant buzz-killing roar of nearby freeway traffic. One spot where you can escape the whiz and roar of cars is the Martinez Regional Shoreline, a stone's throw from the swell town of Martinez in northern Contra Costa County. Well-paved trails weave through twenty acres of tidal marsh that once was the site of a fishing village, granaries, and the longest-operating ferry in the Bay Area. Modern visitors are now surrounded by birdsong instead of traffic, with only the occasional sound of a lonesome train whistle for nostalgic effect. You'll also see the remains of an old schooner, Forrester. Part of the shoreline is also run by the City of Martinez, with parks for soccer and, yes, bocce ball. And Martinez itself, with its homey attractions, is only a short walk away (though be warned, dogs are allowed only in specific areas).
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